Worthy De Jong is a 28 year old Dutch 194cm shooting guard that is currently playing with the Dutch national team in the European qualifying round. He completed his sixth season for Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Eredivisie) playing 34 games: Score-2(16.9ppg), 6.6rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-1(2.9spg), FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 69.0%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 17.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.3apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 79.2%. He will play this season for SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB) He started his basketball career with the Rotterdam Challengers (Eredivisie). He had his best season last season playing 34 games averaging 15.0ppg, 5.9rpg, Assists-4(4.5apg), Steals-2(2.6spg), FGP: 61.8%, 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 74.1%. He also had a solid performance at the 2015 European Championships playing 5 games: 9.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT-2(66.7%), FT: 81.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the European qualifying game against Germany.
Worthy thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. The last time you played in Germany, you scored 22 points with Leiden in a 63-58 loss in Fiba Europe Cup action in Frankfurt. What memories do you have form that game?
It was a very intense game probably the best one during the FIBA Euro Cup and seeing how we played definitely one we could’ve won.
Now you are back in Germany with the Dutch national team playing Germany who are 2-0 in a Euro qualifying match. The Dutch national team have a 1-1 record having lost a close game to Austria and spanked Denmark. How happy are you with the current 1-1 record of Holland?
Well if we take a look at the first game stats we were definitely in the postion to win that game, seeing that we took about 24 more shots then them and out rebounded them too . I guess we didn’t have our day, but none the less they played a very good game.
After playing in the European championships in 2015, the team goal is to get back in 2017. What are the main differences between last years team and this years?
I would say that we are missing some european players and some of the vets retired from the national team, but we didn’t necessarily lose anything I like to say that we just found other players to replace them and we have all the elements to be successful so in time we shall see.
What really stands out is that 9 players of the 12 man rotation were born in the years 88-90. There are not very young guys on the roster this season besides Yannick Franke. Does Dutch basketball have a problem at the moment with developing young players?
I dont think we have a problem, but I think that this year they weren´t ready to join, but looking at what we still have in college and some of the guys that just started there first professional season we wont have a problem in the future.
It will most likely come down between Holland and Austria for advancing to the European championships in 2017. What will be most vital for Holland to end the qualifying with a better record than Austria?
For one we should beat them by 4 or more at their house and if we can steal one in Germany which I think we can because we’ve done the impossible before then we put ourselves in the best position possible.
You are leading the team in scoring after two games in the qualifying with 19,5ppg. Jessey Voorn and Charlon Kloof are also scoring in double figures. What other players do you expect to make a major impact in the scoring in the upcoming games?
I think in our case we need everybody to pitch in that isour strength, it comes in numbers. 1 through 12 needs to step up and give us what they can.
You are a main figure on the Dutch national team. You are 28 years old and experienced, but do you feel pressure at times to have to be productive in the scoring area each game?
I don´t feel pressured, but I just try to let the game come to me, prepare myself the best way I can and trust in everything I’ve learned.
Germany is 2-0 and the favorite in the group. They have no more Dirk Nowitzki as well as no Dennis Schroeder, but still many key players. How dangerous is team Germany on the court in 2016?
They are without a doubt a great team. All of their players play in big leagues and are experienced, but we are a defense minded team that work hard at stopping the opponents, so we have to stick with that and get stops, let the offense come to us.
How excited are you to be playing Germany?
It´s a great place to play and the people appreciate basketball so that gives me as a player a great feeling.
You belong to the top defenders of Team Holland. How vital will your defensive abilities be against Germany to making an impact for team Holland in having a successful defensive game?
I just hope to bring allot of energy to our team and hopefully that rubs off and get us going.
Does the fact that you most likely will be defending a taller and stronger German player motivate and fire you up extra much?
No not at all.
Germany have the overwhelming height advantage. This will be no easy task for team Holland. What will be key for 40 minutes to come away with a victory against Germany?
We have to work our butts off and believe in our defending strategy.
Last season with Leiden you were second best scorer in the Dutch league and had a superb Eurocup season averaging 17.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.3apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 79.2%. Was this your best season as a professional?
This was my best season so far.
After this magnificent season in Holland, you signed with SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB). How can you justify any critics saying this was a step back?
To be honest I haven´t heard anybody say it was a step back. I think this was a good step in the right direction.
You moved to SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB). Do you feel pressure with having to top last season´s great stats?
Of course I want to perform in the best way I can, but just like I said earlier I will just let the game come to me and see fit how I can help my team.
With SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB) you will be playing with 36 year old veteran Teddy Gipson who played some years in Germany. How much do you feel will you be able to profit from him?
A lot. Growing up I saw him play for Amsterdam.I think it´s a great honor to be playing with him now. I will try to gain as much knowledge from him as I can .
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title home, where does this further ring put him in the debate against Michael Jordan as the all-time best ever?
Not . Michael Jordan is the best.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you choose?
Michael, Kareem, Larry, Magic
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Worthy for the chat.